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Smoking and Tobacco

Nicotaine stains in the truck

09/19/2005

Question:

I was recently hired at a trucking company, and they put me into a truck with a sleeper unit and had me clean it out. I noticed a stingy smell along with a very stinky smell, i was surprised to find out what it was. After using seventy five(75) Clorox wipes and a can of febreze i was happy to sense I had cleaned this truck out. After a day in it my skins had a rash, my skin felt irritated, and I had started to cough. The smell was returning also, as I looked up I saw that the whole ceiling was not the same color as the rest of the fabric - it was brownish. I remembered a home of a cigar smoker that was brownish after the smokers lived there several years, I knew then it was that the prior truck driver was a smoker. Today I am home for the first time and feel sick, with a mild fever. I feel that this has been caused by the nicotine. How will this affect my health, how will the nicotine harm my lungs, how long will trhis last and should I notify any other agency about this practice. DO EMPLOYERS HAVE THE CONCERN OR OBLIGATION TO THEIR EMPLOYEES NOT TO BE EXPOSED TO CHEMICALS??OR IS IT THAT AMERICA HAS BECOME A THIRD WORLD STANDARD OF LIVING???

Answer:

The first thing you need to do is go to the Employee Health Department of your company (or wherever your company designates employees to be seen) to be examined by a physician, especially if you believe the illness/injury might be work-related, as your complaint may need future involvement with Workers' Compensation. Chlorox can also be a potent irritant, and possibly harmful.

OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, regulates most companies. The website for OSHA is www.osha.gov. Your company should also be able to provide you with their Safety Policies/Procedures.

You will need to follow-up with other experts on cleaning nicotine stains, but first seek medical advice.

For more information:

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Response by:

Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
Formerly:
Kick It!
The James
The Ohio State University